• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Few would deny that the most significant weapon in India's cultural and artistic armory is its avowedly commercial cinema, now known as Bollywood. This anthology aims to portray the “soft” power of Bollywood, which makes it a unique and powerful disseminator of Indian culture and values abroad. The essays in the book examine Bollywood's popularity within and outside South Asia, focusing on its role in international relations and diplomacy.

In addition to contributions that directly engage with the notion of soft power, a number of essays in the volume testify to the attractiveness of Bollywood cinema for ethnically diverse groups across the world, probe the reasons for its appeal, and explore its audiences' identification with cinematic narratives.

Established and emerging scholars in literature, theater, film, dance, music, ...

Mad about Bollywood

“‘The people in Afghanistan will kill for a Hindi film. They watch nothing but Hindi films …’ director Kabir Khan, who shot his ‘Kabul Express’ there, told IANS over phone from Mumbai” (Indo-Asian News Service [IANS] 2010a). Hindi films “are hugely popular in Bangladesh and locals can get their Bollywood fix on cable TV and through pirated copies which circulate widely” despite being officially banned since 1972 (Lim 2010). Speaking on behalf of the people of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi admitted, “We all love to watch Hindi movies—Bollywood is better suited to Myanmar's cultural sensitivities” (Jagan 2010). Despite their injunctions against screening Bollywood films, Nepal's Maoists share with its former royals an interest in Bollywood (IANS 2010b). Shahrukh Khan and Katrina ...

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